W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html-a11y@w3.org > December 2012

Re: change proposal for <main>: possible validation warning heuristic for misuse

From: Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 2 Dec 2012 23:10:26 +0000
Message-ID: <CA+ri+Vm_g06EwZsrkSRR3cQ+Exd6tLnOwkZ6s2pXeVznJFnDtQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>
Cc: Silvia Pfeiffer <silviapfeiffer1@gmail.com>, James Craig <jcraig@apple.com>, Michael Smith <mike@w3.org>, Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Hi all,

have been analysing some of the data I collected previously [1]. Of 50
pages [2] I have looked at so far (from the set of 400+ pages[3] that I
have added styles to provide easy visual identification of elements
with id=main|content)   > 90% of elements with an id=main|content do indeed
contain content that excludes header/nav/footer type content.

you can see the results and source pages for your selves:


I think this is a reasonable indication (please point out if my analysis is
incorrect0 that there is a common concept of what is considered the main
content area of a document and that fears of misuse of an element based on
this concept are over emphasised.

Do I need to analyse more of the data set or is this enough?

[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2012Oct/0109.html
[2] starting from 296 in the list
[3] http://www.html5accessibility.com/tests/HTML5-main-content/


On 2 December 2012 19:10, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com> wrote:

> On Dec 1, 2012, at 6:39 PM, Silvia Pfeiffer <silviapfeiffer1@gmail.com>
> wrote:
> On Sun, Dec 2, 2012 at 12:19 PM, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com> wrote:
>> I think this will be a lot more effective at limiting the harm from
>> potential improper use of <main> than a conformance error. A conformance
>> error is a discouragement for some authors, but most content is
>> non-conforming. Meanwhile, implementation behavior can avoid incorrectly
>> identifying the main content even in the face of authors who do not
>> prioritize document conformance.
> Could that also include a rule as to what to do in case there is both a
> <main> and a role="main" on the page? While it's a conformance error,
> browsers still need to decide which one to expose to AT. So, maybe in this
> case it would be best to expose the element with role="main" only?
> Yes, I think it would be good to have rules to disambiguate cases like
> this. It probably makes the most sense for explicit role=main to win, but I
> could also imagine having whichever appears first win.
> I agree with this suggestion. I would also like to see "Scooby Doo"
>> documented properly. I do wonder, however, since (if?) it is only
>> accessibility related, whether it should be in the HTML spec, or in the
>> mapping spec of Stever, or in a WCAG spec.
>> I think a "find the main content" algorithm has non-accessibility uses as
>> well, for example for data mining tools, or for "readability" style tools
>> or browser features.
> Right. So it should indeed be part of the extension spec, and thus
> ultimately of HTML, right?
> If the <main> extension ended up integrated in the HTML spec, then I think
> the HTML spec would clearly be the right place for a "find the main
> content" algorithm.
> Regards,
> Maciej
Received on Sunday, 2 December 2012 23:11:37 UTC

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